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Key facts for hiring a car in Orlando
Car hire locations
There are 44 car hire locations in Orlando, and the most popular is Orlando International Airport.
Coldest month: January (15°C)
Warmest month: July (28°C)
Not to be missed
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Hire a car in Orlando
For many, a holiday to Orlando is a once in a lifetime trip – it is, after all, the destination where dreams come true.
Is Orlando the most magical place on Earth? From princess castles and adrenaline pumping rides, to great food and sports there’s so much to do in this spellbinding part of the world. Both children and adults have unforgettable trips here, and it’s easy to see why.
Orlando may have the limelight for one major reason, but Florida is an exciting state with plenty to discover, especially with a car.
Orlando holiday tips
Raincoats come in handy
If you’re visiting during the rainy season (June - November) pack sensible, rainproof gear as showers are likely. Ponchos are great as they are light, bring one with you so that you don’t have to fork out for it at a theme park. Sensible and fast drying footwear is also a good idea.
Plan your itinerary carefully
If you are heading to the parks (and even if you’re not) plan to do outdoor activities in the morning. It’s more likely to rain in the afternoon, so that’s a good time to visit a show or a museum. Alternatively, you could head for a nice indoor lunch – showers tend to only last an hour or less, so you can be back out in the sunshine once you’ve eaten.
Prepare for the sun
Although it rains during hurricane season, don’t be fooled as Orlando is also very hot and humid. Make sure you pack provisions, and if you have the facilities, freeze bottles of water for a refreshing way to stay hydrated and cool. There are also fountains within the theme parks, if this is where you plan on going.
Save money by using vouchers
Look out for coupons in hotel lobbies as you may find money off activities you were already intending to do. The Visit Orlando website also offers deals and discounts for major attractions.
Eating out is a fine art
When ordering food, consider the portion size. Often, the portions are extremely generous – meaning that three course meals are pointless and wasteful, and sharing can be a good compromise.
Booking in advance
If you buy your theme park tickets in advance, this can save you a lot of money. There’s also a FastPass+ system where you can schedule which attractions you visit up to 30 days in advance and cut the queues.
- The theme parks in Orlando are huge. The Walt Disney World Resort is 47 square miles, and that’s just one of many. Hiring a car to drive from attraction to attraction is the simplest way to get around.
- The city is generally a pleasant place to drive, and less demanding than somewhere like Los Angeles. The theme parks are really well signposted, as you’d expect.
- There are some toll roads in Orlando, however they are not too expensive – only a few dollars at most. There is the option of a prepaid SunPass, but these aren’t cheap so figure out whether they are worth it before committing.
- Expect an automatic car. If you’ve never driven one, don’t panic as it’s much simpler to get to grips with compared to a manual.
- You can overtake in any lane, so if a car does so on your inside this is perfectly legal. It is important to be aware of this, as it is a very different approach to multi-lane driving.
- If driving in the rain, slow down and turn on your headlights.
- Petrol stations near to the airport may charge more than downtown.
- Speeding is strictly monitored and there are lots of patrol cars in Orlando, so abide by the speed limits at all times.
- In Florida, you can turn right on a red light, if the coast is clear. Make sure you come to a complete stop first.
- Hiring a car with cruise control can be useful for long, straight stretches of road (as are common in the US).
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Things to explore
Everglades National Park
Unlike most other National Parks, the Everglades is a flat wonderland of prairies, swamps, rivers and wetland. From spotting prehistoric reptiles to camping in the wilderness, there’s so much to do in this natural expanse.
A big part of Florida’s appeal, there are many sports to try in this fantastic part of the world. Paddle boarding, kayaking, tubing, yachting, parasailing – take your pick.
A few hours’ drive from Orlando you can visit natural springs surrounded by wildlife. These clear waters are perfect for swimming in summer, and West Indian manatees swim upstream in search of a warmer environment during the winter.
The ultimate Orlando road trip
Orlando International Airport MCO
The thirteenth busiest airport in the USA.
Car hire pick up point
Most of the major car rental agents are on site at the airport, but some of the smaller agents are a shuttle bus ride away.
Palm Beach – 265km
One of the wealthiest cities in America, home to billionaire mansions and designer shops.
Fort Lauderdale – 75km
This coastal town oozes sophistication with its jazz clubs, palm tree punctuated promenade and canals.
Miami – 48km
Beaches, nightlife, art deco ... This popular city has all the ingredients for a perfect vacation.
Key West – 264km
Take an unforgettable trip across the Seven Mile Bridge and into the Florida Keys.